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My boss wants me to open up a B&B in their home-help??

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brighteyes_22

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I'm not too new to this forum. I've been reading the posts for about a year now, but rarely respond because I don't own a bed and breakfast. However, I am very interested in them and have always dreamt of owning one. Well, that opportunity has seemed to come up. I am a private chef for a very affluent family with an exquisitely decorated large home. I just happened to mention to my boss the idea of him turning his home into a B&B-mind you, I meant someday when all the kids are full grown and have left casa de grande, not this exact moment. Well, he immediately liked the idea and is now wanting me to start things up. The thing is, I'm not too sure if it will work out. Perhaps if I explain the property and location, I can get some advice on whether or not this thing would work.
The home has 7 bedrooms and five bathrooms. However, due to location and children still living at home, only three(possibly four) could be rented out. And only one room has a jucuzzi tub. The two rooms are in a basement apartment and both have to share a bathroom. And one of these rooms doesn't have a window. However, the whole apartment (which has a full kitchen and living area) could be rented out to families wanting a resort experience, but on a more intimate scale. The third bedroom is a small room in the 3rd floor "tower", as we call it. However, the bed only sleeps one person and the bathroom is one flight down. Most of the rooms have either a deck or a view of the lake and adjoining acreage. There's also a billiards/game room and a large gathering room. There is a large pond and walking trails with a paddle boat (the pond is stocked for fishing) and there is also a hot tub and multiple televisions located around the house.
The house itself is already set up for a bed and breakfast, except the fact that there are still pre-teen children living at home. This leads me to believe that we couldn't advertise for a secluded romantic getaway because these kids are very active and loud (but very well-behaved). And here's the other kicker-the house is about 30 minutes away from any sort of attraction besides the lake. There is a large tourist town near us, but I have a hard time believing that anyone would drive to this home to stay, except for the sole purpose of not leaving during their visit.
I'm also a little stumped on what to suggest for charging the rooms. I was thinking somewhere around $175-$200. This includes a HUGE list of amenities and also what the ambiance of the home has to offer (think exclusive victorian). I've researched the bed and breakfasts in the area, and this is about as high as most of them go.
Anyway, any form of advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm still working on outlining a business proposal and would really love some guidance. Thanks so much, and I really enjoy this forum!
 

swirt

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Wow! You have to be careful of what you suggest...your dreams might come true LOL
A bedroom with no windows could never be a legal guest room (unless the local fire codes haven't been updated since the mid 1800s) so that would rule that one room out as a possible room. A tower room with a single bed and having to go down a flight of stairs for the bath also sounds a bit bad. So to me it sounds like you've got an apartment and one basement room to work with.
My suggestion is that your boss ought to be encouraged to do more of his own homework. Having someone like yourself "install" a bed and breakfast business is something that I would think would be a recipe for disagreements and detachment. But I guess that depends on the relationship you have with your boss. The kids would also have to be on-board with the idea as well.
I'm not saying it can't work, there are just a lot of things to consider.
 

EmptyNest

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Uh...don't go jumping the gun here or get too excited. This doesn't sound like an ideal situation to me. Pre teens / teens??? Uh oh..how would they feel about strangers invading their space?
Does the family know/ realize EXACTLY what this will mean for them??? Strangers in their house? Who is going to do all of the work??? Certainly not you and certainly not them it doesn't seem like.
Just because you have a big house doesn't mean you can just turn it into a B & B.
I think you are moving a bit too fast on this one. Doesn't sound like a good set up to me.
I will let others chime in
 

egoodell

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Sounds more like a fancy home stay than a B&B.
But first things first - are you even zoned to run a B&B? Have you checked with the county/city to see what you need to get a license? You have to be inspected and get fire extinguishers for the rooms etc etc.
And you are probably correct in that being 30 minutes away from any of the activities in the area affecting your booking rooms- this means you will book only after all the hotels/B&Bs in that area are already booked.
Who is going to do all the laundry? Handle the reservations and credit card processing? Design the website and do the marketing? Handle the insurance? Who is going to clean the rooms?
Is your boss going to get involved or does he think you will do it all? If your boss thinks you can do it all this will mean you will be "on call" 24/7 as guests have needs all the time during their stay. How will you get your "days off"
Who is in charge of calling the plumber when they flush stuff down the toilet and clog it? (happened to us...)
I would rather do it on my own than have a boss, too. You both may have different ideas about how to run the biz. He may be just thinking what he can get renting the rooms and not factoring in insurance costs, marketing costs, food costs, etc.
Riki
 

brighteyes_22

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Sounds more like a fancy home stay than a B&B.
But first things first - are you even zoned to run a B&B? Have you checked with the county/city to see what you need to get a license? You have to be inspected and get fire extinguishers for the rooms etc etc.
And you are probably correct in that being 30 minutes away from any of the activities in the area affecting your booking rooms- this means you will book only after all the hotels/B&Bs in that area are already booked.
Who is going to do all the laundry? Handle the reservations and credit card processing? Design the website and do the marketing? Handle the insurance? Who is going to clean the rooms?
Is your boss going to get involved or does he think you will do it all? If your boss thinks you can do it all this will mean you will be "on call" 24/7 as guests have needs all the time during their stay. How will you get your "days off"
Who is in charge of calling the plumber when they flush stuff down the toilet and clog it? (happened to us...)
I would rather do it on my own than have a boss, too. You both may have different ideas about how to run the biz. He may be just thinking what he can get renting the rooms and not factoring in insurance costs, marketing costs, food costs, etc.
Riki.
I forgot to mention that there is already a staff on hand that takes care of the housekeeping and maintenence. As for who will be in charge of running it I do have a feeling it will be more on my shoulders than my boss's. That's why I'm putting feelers out, because we're just putting this thing together (or at least I am) and I'm trying to get some ideas set up to give to him.
 

Copperhead

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You really need to do a lot more research and as Swirt mentioned, your boss needs to do his/her own as well and then plenty of discussion.
As far as the spaces you mentioned to rent, there does seem to be some fire code issues, as code (federal I believe) states there must be 2 forms of egress from each rented room. The fire marshall's office should be able to tell you these rules. You also would need to make sure you could get a license to do this type of business in this area so check with your county government office on the permit issues. (This to be done after determining you have rooms rentable after discussions with fire marshall. Then of course there is insurance matters. Regular homeowners ins. will not cover your guests if there is an accident! Contrary to most thinking that this can be done, once someone states they PAID to stay under your roof, normal homeowners insurance becomes void. So check with your agent on this if you even get this far.
You must also really think of the type of guests you want to attract to see if the current set up would be inviting to that crowd.
 

egoodell

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Sounds more like a fancy home stay than a B&B.
But first things first - are you even zoned to run a B&B? Have you checked with the county/city to see what you need to get a license? You have to be inspected and get fire extinguishers for the rooms etc etc.
And you are probably correct in that being 30 minutes away from any of the activities in the area affecting your booking rooms- this means you will book only after all the hotels/B&Bs in that area are already booked.
Who is going to do all the laundry? Handle the reservations and credit card processing? Design the website and do the marketing? Handle the insurance? Who is going to clean the rooms?
Is your boss going to get involved or does he think you will do it all? If your boss thinks you can do it all this will mean you will be "on call" 24/7 as guests have needs all the time during their stay. How will you get your "days off"
Who is in charge of calling the plumber when they flush stuff down the toilet and clog it? (happened to us...)
I would rather do it on my own than have a boss, too. You both may have different ideas about how to run the biz. He may be just thinking what he can get renting the rooms and not factoring in insurance costs, marketing costs, food costs, etc.
Riki.
I forgot to mention that there is already a staff on hand that takes care of the housekeeping and maintenence. As for who will be in charge of running it I do have a feeling it will be more on my shoulders than my boss's. That's why I'm putting feelers out, because we're just putting this thing together (or at least I am) and I'm trying to get some ideas set up to give to him.
.
brighteyes_22 said:
I forgot to mention that there is already a staff on hand that takes care of the housekeeping and maintenence. As for who will be in charge of running it I do have a feeling it will be more on my shoulders than my boss's. That's why I'm putting feelers out, because we're just putting this thing together (or at least I am) and I'm trying to get some ideas set up to give to him.
So you have housekeeping that will remain available to the guests after 5pm until 9pm? Or who would a guest call if they have a question or need something? And who is going to be "the personality" that is available/ is the draw to bring guests to book?
If you boss and/or his wife work during the day, they will probably not want to be "on call" after work.
RIki
 

wendydk

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Since you've been a forum member for awhile, I can only assume that you harbor a dream of innkeeping.
So, you thought "If I had this house, I could have my B&B"...and mentioned something to your boss about it, who had absolutely no desire to run a B&B, in fact...the thought probably never crossed his mind. But, he sees dollar signs and told you to write something up?
What will your involvement be in this venture? You must already hold a job, if this fella is your boss. Would that change? Were you planning to run this B&B? In what position? How on earth would the type of rooms you're talking about in a nowhere location possibly support a full-time Innkeeper?
I think if you want to try innkeeping, you should do some interning, take some classes, maybe try to get a job as an Innkeeper or Assistant Innkeeper somewhere. Then, if all works out, maybe you could have a place of your own someday, if that's what you wanted.
The route you're going seems fraught with tension, confusion and disappointment, IMHO. If your boss wants to make some money with his extra basement apartment space, he should rent it out weekly or monthly.
 

Breakfast Diva

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Run away, run away from this idea! Now, if Mr. Moneybags wants to buy a B&B in the town 30 minutes away and/or build one that makes more sense. With what you have described, it's not an ideal situation.
 

gillumhouse

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I am usually the rah-rah "you can do it" HOWEVER from what you describe here - NO WAY.
As Swirt has said a basement (no window) would never fly with the Codes. There must always be 2-ways of egress for every room. Not seeing the lay-out it is difficult to say if it would work as a B & B even without the kids living there. Just because it has bedrooms and bathrooms does not mean it is laid out to be condusive to being a B & B.
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B.
 

egoodell

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I am usually the rah-rah "you can do it" HOWEVER from what you describe here - NO WAY.
As Swirt has said a basement (no window) would never fly with the Codes. There must always be 2-ways of egress for every room. Not seeing the lay-out it is difficult to say if it would work as a B & B even without the kids living there. Just because it has bedrooms and bathrooms does not mean it is laid out to be condusive to being a B & B.
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B..
gillumhouse said:
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B.
This is what I was concerned about and why I said it sounds more like a Home Stay nd as usual you have worded it better than me.
I think the majority of B&Bs have SEPERATE OWNER'S QUARTERS. From what you are saying, it sounds like you have a couple of bedrooms to rent.
Our B&B has our separate apartment and the main house is for the guests. The living room, library, dining room, tasting room, half bath and back deck.
We live upstairs with our own living, dining, tv/den and bedroom and bath.
I don't see how your guests will feel comfortable sharing the common areas with your boss and a couple of teens.
That's not what they are spending the money for.
RIki
 

swirt

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I am usually the rah-rah "you can do it" HOWEVER from what you describe here - NO WAY.
As Swirt has said a basement (no window) would never fly with the Codes. There must always be 2-ways of egress for every room. Not seeing the lay-out it is difficult to say if it would work as a B & B even without the kids living there. Just because it has bedrooms and bathrooms does not mean it is laid out to be condusive to being a B & B.
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B..
gillumhouse said:
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B.
This is what I was concerned about and why I said it sounds more like a Home Stay nd as usual you have worded it better than me.
I think the majority of B&Bs have SEPERATE OWNER'S QUARTERS. From what you are saying, it sounds like you have a couple of bedrooms to rent.
Our B&B has our separate apartment and the main house is for the guests. The living room, library, dining room, tasting room, half bath and back deck.
We live upstairs with our own living, dining, tv/den and bedroom and bath.
I don't see how your guests will feel comfortable sharing the common areas with your boss and a couple of teens.
That's not what they are spending the money for.
RIki
.
I think the majority of B&Bs have SEPERATE OWNER'S QUARTERS.
I'm nto sure if numbers wise that is true. As I think back through the B&B's we've stayed in or inns I've worked for, I would say maybe 1/4 of them had truely separate owners quarters. Hmmm that would make for a good poll here.
 

seashanty

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well ~ i say ~ is he going to pay you to 'start things up'?
if so, you must be paid an hourly wage just to go into an exploratory phase because it takes a long time ....
to find out about permits and zoning and so on to find out if a bed and breakfast, an inn, a home stay, or nightly boarders would be allowed in the neighborhood ... and then return to him with those facts before he even considers it. then you can explore the logistics of doing it with children in the home and the setup you describe. it may be that 'some day' for this place is about ten years in the future. and a permit now might not be grandfathered in when the time comes that this is practical.
what many people with beautiful homes and extra rooms and staff don't realize is that they can't just hang out a shingle 'rooms for rent'.
 

EmptyNest

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I am usually the rah-rah "you can do it" HOWEVER from what you describe here - NO WAY.
As Swirt has said a basement (no window) would never fly with the Codes. There must always be 2-ways of egress for every room. Not seeing the lay-out it is difficult to say if it would work as a B & B even without the kids living there. Just because it has bedrooms and bathrooms does not mean it is laid out to be condusive to being a B & B.
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B..
gillumhouse said:
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B.
This is what I was concerned about and why I said it sounds more like a Home Stay nd as usual you have worded it better than me.
I think the majority of B&Bs have SEPERATE OWNER'S QUARTERS. From what you are saying, it sounds like you have a couple of bedrooms to rent.
Our B&B has our separate apartment and the main house is for the guests. The living room, library, dining room, tasting room, half bath and back deck.
We live upstairs with our own living, dining, tv/den and bedroom and bath.
I don't see how your guests will feel comfortable sharing the common areas with your boss and a couple of teens.
That's not what they are spending the money for.
RIki
.
Yes you are correct! I think quite honestly this fellow should abandon this idea for now. Do more research and reading on what truly is a B & B stay. It is just not renting out a room to someone. It is hospitality, caring and service to your GUESTS. I don't think this place would really qualify.
Why would a "boss" who has a chef and a staff and a beautiful house want to turn it into a B & B for pittance of a return??
Back to the drawing board:)
 

egoodell

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I am usually the rah-rah "you can do it" HOWEVER from what you describe here - NO WAY.
As Swirt has said a basement (no window) would never fly with the Codes. There must always be 2-ways of egress for every room. Not seeing the lay-out it is difficult to say if it would work as a B & B even without the kids living there. Just because it has bedrooms and bathrooms does not mean it is laid out to be condusive to being a B & B.
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B..
gillumhouse said:
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B.
This is what I was concerned about and why I said it sounds more like a Home Stay nd as usual you have worded it better than me.
I think the majority of B&Bs have SEPERATE OWNER'S QUARTERS. From what you are saying, it sounds like you have a couple of bedrooms to rent.
Our B&B has our separate apartment and the main house is for the guests. The living room, library, dining room, tasting room, half bath and back deck.
We live upstairs with our own living, dining, tv/den and bedroom and bath.
I don't see how your guests will feel comfortable sharing the common areas with your boss and a couple of teens.
That's not what they are spending the money for.
RIki
.
I think the majority of B&Bs have SEPERATE OWNER'S QUARTERS.
I'm nto sure if numbers wise that is true. As I think back through the B&B's we've stayed in or inns I've worked for, I would say maybe 1/4 of them had truely separate owners quarters. Hmmm that would make for a good poll here.
.
swirt said:
I think the majority of B&Bs have SEPERATE OWNER'S QUARTERS.
I'm nto sure if numbers wise that is true. As I think back through the B&B's we've stayed in or inns I've worked for, I would say maybe 1/4 of them had truely separate owners quarters. Hmmm that would make for a good poll here.
After you said this I was thinking maybe Charlottesville is different from other areas - but then again the B&Bs in CA that we stayed in the owners' quarters were all seperate as were the inns we stayed at in Vermont - and now I see the poll is showing that too.
I really think that to be able to work it LONG TERM you (or at least I have to) have to have seperate quarters if at all possible, if ony to have your own life!
If I want to yell at the dog for digging in the garbage I want to do it in privacy!
Riki
 

EmptyNest

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I am usually the rah-rah "you can do it" HOWEVER from what you describe here - NO WAY.
As Swirt has said a basement (no window) would never fly with the Codes. There must always be 2-ways of egress for every room. Not seeing the lay-out it is difficult to say if it would work as a B & B even without the kids living there. Just because it has bedrooms and bathrooms does not mean it is laid out to be condusive to being a B & B.
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B..
gillumhouse said:
From here I say, tell the Boss the opinion of this innkeeper is unless the family moves to the basement it is not ready to be a B & B.
This is what I was concerned about and why I said it sounds more like a Home Stay nd as usual you have worded it better than me.
I think the majority of B&Bs have SEPERATE OWNER'S QUARTERS. From what you are saying, it sounds like you have a couple of bedrooms to rent.
Our B&B has our separate apartment and the main house is for the guests. The living room, library, dining room, tasting room, half bath and back deck.
We live upstairs with our own living, dining, tv/den and bedroom and bath.
I don't see how your guests will feel comfortable sharing the common areas with your boss and a couple of teens.
That's not what they are spending the money for.
RIki
.
I think the majority of B&Bs have SEPERATE OWNER'S QUARTERS.
I'm nto sure if numbers wise that is true. As I think back through the B&B's we've stayed in or inns I've worked for, I would say maybe 1/4 of them had truely separate owners quarters. Hmmm that would make for a good poll here.
.
swirt said:
I think the majority of B&Bs have SEPERATE OWNER'S QUARTERS.
I'm nto sure if numbers wise that is true. As I think back through the B&B's we've stayed in or inns I've worked for, I would say maybe 1/4 of them had truely separate owners quarters. Hmmm that would make for a good poll here.
After you said this I was thinking maybe Charlottesville is different from other areas - but then again the B&Bs in CA that we stayed in the owners' quarters were all seperate as were the inns we stayed at in Vermont - and now I see the poll is showing that too.
I really think that to be able to work it LONG TERM you (or at least I have to) have to have seperate quarters if at all possible, if ony to have your own life!
If I want to yell at the dog for digging in the garbage I want to do it in privacy!
Riki
.
Nice and private owners quarters was at the very TOP of our want list...as we searched for a B & B. I didn not want stuck in some dark, musty basement as my living quarters. Having separate private area was the ONLY way I would do it.
 

happykeeper

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HMMM.. Sounds like a bright idea that needs more attention before it moves to the, "What do I charge", phase.
More brainstorming could lead you towards some ideas about how to create what you need to match what your BNB would need. I suggest turning your thought process around and paint the picture of the perfect bed and breakfast and then begin assessing whether what you have can meet that vision. Otherwise, we're going to boil the chicken off the bones.
 

YellowSocks

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Like Kathleen, I'm usually rah rah, go for it, but not so much this time.
Check zoning.
Rent the apartment out.
For the B&B you need nice rooms with private, en suite bathrooms. We have kids, it can work, but no one wants a tiny room with a tiny bed and the bathroom far away.
=)
Kk.
 

brighteyes_22

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Like Kathleen, I'm usually rah rah, go for it, but not so much this time.
Check zoning.
Rent the apartment out.
For the B&B you need nice rooms with private, en suite bathrooms. We have kids, it can work, but no one wants a tiny room with a tiny bed and the bathroom far away.
=)
Kk..
Thank you all for your advice. I knew this wouldn't be a good idea from the start, but you gave me some more info to back it up with. My boss is the kind of guy that wants to "get things done" sometimes without looking at the whole picture. The home itself would make a lovely bed and breakfast, without the children and with a little more lifestyle readjusting. Perhaps I can go about it that way and let him stew on it for a few years.
 
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